The car might not seem like the most obvious place to start but it is your biggest expense when it comes to camping, and so we’ll start with the car and how you are going to travel safely to and from the campsite.
That means choosing the right type of vehicle with an adequate load carrying capacity and cargo space.
The good news is, there are plenty of car styles out there to suit your circumstances, and that means that you don’t need the largest and / or most expensive car on the market.
And the better news is that you don’t even necessarily need to own the car! If you don’t, or don’t own a suitable one, jump to the Hiring a Car article in the cars section for a great hire car solution.
For such a large investment, I certainly encourage you to read through our car buying guide, whether you are buying a car, or simply hiring it, especially in relation to payload and rear cargo capacity and roof considerations:
Download car buying checklist complete for your preferred vehicle.
If you are considering buying a new car, complete Module 3: The Kickstarter Kit Walkthrough: Your Camping Setup Essentials.
That will give you a better understanding of the specifications you are looking for in terms of cargo space and payload.
- Vehicle manufacturers don't always publish the information we need, especially in relation to payload, so you might need to dig around for the information.
- If in market for a mid-size vehicle, check out these tips: Buying a second hand / used car, read through our tips.
- And if you are interested in hiring, be sure to check out: Car Hire And Renting and Hiring a car: Which car and how to pack it
By the end of this module
You should have specifications of the type of vehicle suits you (per the Car Buying Checklist), including:
The cargo dimensions of the boot / trunk.
- Payload limit, or weight carrying capacity, of the car.
- What is the maximum roof and roof rack load limit.
- What is (or will be) the height of the roof racks? Desired height will depend on your preference.
Essential accessories and other considerations:
- - Style of car: Wagon, SUV / 4WD with 7-seat option or dual cab ute with canopy, 8-seater "people mover".
- - Factory fitted roof rails (if transporting gear on roof)
- - Roof racks (if transporting gear on roof)
- - Tow bar (if transporting gear on tow bar)
- - Tow bar load limit (if applicable)
Non-essential accessories and other considerations
- - Window tinting
- - Cargo barrier (may reduce the depth of your usable rear cargo area)
- - Side steps
- - Spare tyre, including type and location
- - If relevant, can the third row of seats be removed or is there a 5 seat option?